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Butternut Squash & Sage Macaroni Cheese


 Roast Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know all about my obsession with macaroni cheese and variations of it. I made a Sweet Potato and Feta Mac n Cheese recently and thought it couldn't get any better than that. Well, I was wrong! This Butternut Squash and Sage Macaroni Cheese is seriously yummy and the ultimate comfort food at this time of year.

I baked a halved butternut squash with a whole unpeeled garlic clove and a handful of sage leaves in a low oven until really soft and tender.  All the lovely baked veggies were then whizzed up in a food processor to a smooth consistency before stirring into the regular cheese sauce I make for Mac 'n' Cheese. It gave the dish a lovely rich colour and the garlic and sage added a beautiful delicate flavour. Obviously the butternut squash adds some nutritional value to the macaroni cheese recipe, but more importantly it gives it this amazing creamy texture too....without the calories. It tastes so good and is most definitely worth the extra effort.

Roast Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese


TOP TIPS FOR MAKING BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAGE MACARONI CHEESE

  1. When baking the squash, garlic and sage leaves, make sure the sage leaves are coated in oil to prevent burning.
  2. Try using different herbs - rosemary would work well, as would thyme. You could even use a mixture.
  3. Add a little heat by roasting a whole red chilli with the squash, discarding it before whizzing everything up in the food processor..unless you like it fiery, in which case whizz it up and add it to the sauce!
  4. Up the veggies by adding things like tinned sweetcorn or chopped sun blushed tomatoes to the sauce.
  5. Serve the Butternut Squash and Sage Macaroni Cheese with seasonal veggies or a green side salad...and don't forget the garlic bread.

OTHER MACARONI CHEESE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  1. Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese by Jam and Clotted Cream
  2. Honey Ale Mac n Cheese by Jam and Clotted Cream
  3. Healthy Three Cheese Macaroni Cheese Gratin from Lavender and Lovage
  4. Super Simple Macaroni Cheese from Easy Peasy Foodie
  5. Roasted Garlic One Pan Macaroni Cheese from Taming Twins
Roast Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAGE MACARONI CHEESE


Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese
Pasta
Yield: 4Pin it

Butternut Squash and Sage Macaroni Cheese

A creamy roast butternut squash, sage and garlic macaroni cheese recipe.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients:

  • Butternut Squash, cut in half lengthways and seeds scooped out
  • Small handful Sage leaves
  • Garlic Clove, do not peel
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 50g Butter
  • 50g Flour
  • 600ml Milk
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 250g Extra Mature Cheddar
  • Handful of Grated Parmesan
  • 300g Macaroni

instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°c and place the halved butternut squash in a baking tray and scatter the sage on top. Place the whole garlic clove on the baking tray and then drizzle everything with the oil. Bake until tender (about 40 minutes).

Step 2: Once the squash is cooled scoop out the flesh, sage and squeeze the garlic out of its skin and place it all in a food processor. Blitz up until smooth.

Step 3: To make the cheese sauce melt the butter in a large saucepan then stir in the flour. Gradually add the milk and whisk on a medium heat until it thickens. Take off the heat and add the mustard, cheddar and blitzed up butternut squash. 

Step 4: Cook the macaroni according to packet instructions, drain then stir into the cheesy butternut squash sauce and spoon into an oven proof dish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until bubbling and golden.



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Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese
Roast Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese


MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.
Beth Sachs
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Meal Plan 30th January - 5th February 2017


I NOW POST MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS ON THE JAM & CLOTTED CREAM FACEBOOK PAGE.


Its been a bit of a washout here in Cornwall today. Both Lowen and Rory's Netball and Football matches were cancelled, so it's been a day of pottering and watching sport on the box instead. First up was the Aussie Open Men's Single Final (I actually wanted to Rafa to win, but I'm sure he'll have another chance the way he's playing), then there was a bit of FA cup 4th round action whilst (at the same time) listening to the cricket on the radio. We're a bit sport mad here!

Baking wise I had a couple of black banana's to use up so took the opportunity to make some Banana and Coconut Flapjacks for lunchboxes and also some yummy Ham, Cheese and Herb Muffins - recipe will be on the blog on Wednesday!

WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK


Monday 30th January
Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Bake with Salad

Tuesday 31st January
Chorizo and Pea Risotto

Wednesday 1st February
Fish and Chips

Thursday 2nd February
Frittata and Salad

Friday 3rd February
Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry and Rice

Saturday 4th February
Spaghetti Carbonara

Sunday 5th February
Roast Chicken with Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Dauphinoise
Beth Sachs
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Chinese Chicken & Cashew Nuts


Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts

Did you know Chinese New Year - the year of the Rooster-  begins on Saturday? Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac (I was born in the year of the pig apparently!)..and this year it's the Roosters turn, the 10th animal in the cycle.

If you're celebrating with friends and family this weekend make sure you try this super easy Chinese style Chicken and Cashew Nut dish. Serve with a big bowl of egg fried rice...and don't forget the prawn crackers! It tastes just like my favourite dish from the local Chinese takeaway.

Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts


TOP TIPS FOR MAKING CHINESE CHICKEN AND CASHEW NUTS

  1. Make sure your frying pan is really hot before frying the chicken.
  2. Add more veggies like baby corn, mushrooms or mangetout.
  3. Serve the chicken and cashew nuts over some egg fried rice or soft noodles.
  4. Make it spicy by adding 1 chopped red chilli at the same time as the onion.
  5. Make is vegetarian by replacing the chicken with quorn pieces.

OTHER CHINESE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  1. Honey Glazed Chicken with Chinese Five Spice from A Glug of Oil
  2. Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry from Jam and Clotted Cream
  3. Jan's Chicken Chow Mein from A Glug Of Oil
  4. Chinese Garlic, Ginger, Honey Chicken with Noodles from Lavender and Lovage
  5. Spicy Beef Chow Mein from Jo's Kitchen
  6. Duck and Plum Salad from Farmersgirl Kitchen
  7. Slow Cooker BBQ Chinese Chicken from Munchies and Munchkins
  8. Chinese Little Gem and Tofu Soup from A Mummy Too
Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts

CHINESE CHICKEN AND CASHEW NUTS


Chinese Chicken
Chinese
Yield: 4Pin it

Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts

A 'fakeaway' stir fried chinese chicken and cashew nut recipe.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 25 mins

ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Cornflour
  • 150ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • Chicken Breasts, chopped into large chunks
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb size Piece of Ginger, chopped
  • Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 tin Water Chestnuts, drained
  • 100g Cashew Nuts
  • Spring Onions, chopped

instructions

Step 1: In a bowl dissolve the cornflour into the hot chicken stock and soy sauce and set aside.

Step 2: Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the chicken pieces on a high heat until cooked. Remove onto a plate with a slotted spoon.

Step 3: Add a little more oil to the pan then fry the onion, garlic, ginger peppers, water chestnuts and cashew nuts for a few minutes.

Step 4: Add the sauce into the pan, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and add the chicken back into the pan to warm through.

Step 5: Serve with Egg Fried Rice and garnish with chopped spring onions.




Pin the Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts

Chinese Chicken and Cashew Nuts

MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.
Beth Sachs
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Milk Chocolate & Fudge Cookies


Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies

These Milk Chocolate and Fudge Cookies make the perfect after school snack for hungry kids. My lot are usually starving when they get home from school, especially if they've had after school sports clubs (here it's swimming on Mondays, football on Wednesdays, netball on Thursdays and tennis on Fridays!). I usually try and palm them off with some fruit before tea but sometimes they NEED a glass of milk and a homemade cookie to satisfy their hunger pangs....and sometimes Mummy needs one with her cuppa too!

Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies


TOP TIPS FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE AND FUDGE COOKIES

  1. Swap the milk chocolate for white chocolate or dark chocolate if you prefer.
  2. Add a handful of raisins or chopped apricots to the cookie dough for extra goodness.
  3. The cookies freeze really well so stash some away in the deep freeze and pull them out the night before you need them.
  4. If you don't have Maple Syrup use ordinary Golden Syrup or Honey instead.

OTHER COOKIE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  1. Chocolate Avocado Cookies from Jam and Clotted Cream
  2. Golden Syrup and Oat Cookies from Jam and Clotted Cream
  3. Homemade Oreo Style Cookies from A Mummy Too
  4. Salted Pecan Pretzel Caramel Cookies from Taming Twins
  5. Jammy Daisy Dodgers from Lavender and Lovage
Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies

MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE COOKIES


Milk Choc Chip Cookies
Baking
Yield: 24 cookiesPin it

Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies

A chewy milk chocolate and fudge cookie recipe. Perfect with a glass of milk or cuppa.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 12 minstotal time: 22 mins

ingredients:

  • 130g Butter, softened
  • 50g Maple Syrup 
  • 150g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • Egg
  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 100g Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 75g Fudge, chopped into small pieces

instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c fan and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Step 2: In a large bowl beat together the butter, syrup and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.

Step 3: Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix to combine then fold through the milk choc chips and fudge.

Step 4: Roll the cookie dough into small balls, about the size of a walnut then place on the baking sheets, leaving at least 5cm between them.

Step 5: Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack



Pin the Milk Chocolate and Fudge Cookies 

Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Milk Chocolate Fudge Cookies


MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.
Beth Sachs
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Meal Plan 23rd - 29th January 2017 + The Eden Project



I NOW POST MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS ON THE JAM & CLOTTED CREAM FACEBOOK PAGE.


The kids and I had a lovely day at the Eden Project yesterday making the most of the locals go free weekend. Lowen and Rory really enjoyed the Wow Weekend Space exhibition and spent time making and launching rockets in the Mediterranean Biome, watching Professor Johnson of the Squashbox Theatre Company taking us on a journey to the edges of space and time (very funny)... and they even had a go on DIY hoverboards in the Core building. It was a really cold day so we were glad to be able to warm up in the Rainforest Biome and I was pleased to stock up on my favourite Pukka Teas too.

Not so successful was finding something to eat. We really wanted to sample the Med Kitchen Restaurant but having turned up at 12:20 were told there was at least a 30 minute wait for a table. The kids couldn't wait that long so we made our way back up to the visitor centre and had a quick snack there before going home. A real shame but next time I'll make sure we're there at 12 sharp when it opens!

I've got a backlog of recipes to write up for the blog so this weeks plan is nice and simple so I can concentrate on blog stuff! The Roast Squash Mac n Cheese and the Prawn Curry are all made and stashed away in the fridge ready to be reheated. Prepping at least some of the weeks meals ahead of time makes such a big difference to mealtimes.

WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK


Monday 23rd January
Roast Squash and Sage Mac n Cheese

Tuesday 24th January
Homemade Pizza

Wednesday 25th January
Prawn, Mushroom and Pea Curry with Basmati Rice

Thursday 26th January
Homemade Chicken Kievs with Sweet Potato Mash and Broccoli

Friday 27th January
Fish and Chips

Saturday 28th January
Oven Baked Risotto

Sunday 29th January
Frittata and Salad

Beth Sachs
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Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano & Proscuitto Pasta


Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta

You can forget the diet with this Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta recipe - but the calories are SO WORTH IT! This is my all time favourite Saturday night dinner in front of the TV with a cheeky glass of dry white wine. Ahhh I'm dreaming about it now!

The onions are cooked for a really long time to bring out their sweetness which contrasts so well with the nutty pine nuts and salty proscuitto. I use marsala in this recipe, which is a fortified wine from Sicily, but ordinary white wine would work OK too. If you did want to try and cut the calories a little bit, you could use half fat creme fraiche instead of the double cream, but I think if you're going to enjoy it, enjoy it in its full glory and go for the double cream! You wont be sorry - just do an extra 20 minutes of exercise the next day if it makes you feel better. That's my tactic.

Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta


TOP TIPS FOR MAKING THIS CARAMELISED ONION, GRANA PADANO AND PROSCUITTO PASTA

  1. Cook the onions slow and low. Don't let them burn otherwise it will ruin the taste of the finished dish. You want them a deep golden brown colour. It will take at least 30 minutes - so don't rush it!
  2. Up the veggies by adding some cooked peas at the same time as you add the double cream.
  3. Make it veggie by using vegetarian hard cheese instead of the grana padano and omit the proscuitto.
  4. To cut the calories use half fat creme fraiche instead of the double cream

OTHER CREAMY PASTA DISHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  1. Creamy Sausage, Mushroom and Pea Pasta from Jam and Clotted Cream
  2. Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta from Jam and Clotted Cream
  3. Creamy Courgette and Pancetta Pasta from Jam and Clotted Cream
  4. Creamy Broccoli Pasta Bake from A Mummy Too
  5. Creamy Trout and Spinach Pasta from Farnersgirl Kitchen
  6. Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Tarragon Tagliatelle from Jam and Clotted Cream
Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta

CREAMY CARAMELISED ONION, GRANA PADANO AND PROSCUITTO PASTA


Creamy Caramelised Onion Pasta
Pasta
Yield: 4Pin it

Creamy Caramelised Onion Pasta

A creamy caramelised onion, grana padano and proscuitto pasta recipe. The perfect comfort food!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 25 mins

ingredients:

  • Onions, sliced thinly
  • 40g Butter
  • 50ml Marsala
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 50g Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 75g Grana Padano, grated
  • Small handful Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Slices Proscuitto, torn
  • 250g Spaghetti

instructions

Step 1: Melt the butter in a large frying pan then cook the onions on a low heat for about 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelised.

Step 2: Stir in the marsala and cook down for a few minutes before adding the cream, pine nuts, Dijon mustard, parsley and grana padano.

Step 3: Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to instructions, drain and then add to the frying pan.

Step 4: Stir through the prosciutto and serve with more grated grana padano.


Pin the Creamy Caramelised Onion Pasta 

Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta
Creamy Caramelised Onion, Grana Padano and Proscuitto Pasta

MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.

Disclosure: I was sent some Grana Padano and Proscuitto Di San Daniele to create a recipe with. All thoughts are my own.
Beth Sachs
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Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake


Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake
It's my birthday on Wednesday and I'm trying (and failing) to get excited about it. I used to envy my best friend with a birthday in June as celebrations usually involved garden parties, BBQ's, outdoor games... and when we were older, cider fuelled beach parties. Ah well, I'm stuck with a dreary, cold and wet January birthday (thanks parents) so instead of moping about it, I had to try and make it more cheery!

The kids are always keen that I have a cake on my birthday, but to save my poor kitchen from a baking disaster (hubby + 3 kids = mess), I usually just make my own. I'm really really pleased with how this years Vanilla Raspberry Birthday Bundt Cake turned out. So pretty and bright (thanks to the vibrant freeze dried raspberries) in the darkest depths of winter and it makes my splurge on the tin all the more gratifying.

The vanilla yogurt makes the cake extra vanilla-ry (that's clearly not a proper word but you know what I mean) and also lovely and moist, but if you're not so keen on vanilla then just use plain yogurt in the cake mix instead. I made this bundt cake in a 27cm tin but if you have a smaller tin just fill it to two thirds full and use any remaining mixture to make some muffins. This really is the perfect cake to brighten up your winter's day and get you dreaming about those long hot days of summer just around the corner (well, maybe not..but even lighter evenings will do it for me).

Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake


TOP TIPS FOR MAKING BUNDT CAKES

  1. Grease, grease, grease that bundt tin and then add some flour and tap it around before getting rid of any excess. Get in all the corners. Even better, use some quick release cake spray. Leave no corner un-greased is the message.
  2. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate. The cake will start to come away from the sides as it cools.
  3. Substitute the raspberries in this recipe for other berries - blueberries or blackberries would work well, or a mixture. Or just leave them out altogether for a plain sponge.

OTHER BUNDT CAKE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  1. Fig, Lemon, Marzipan Bundt Cake from Tin and Thyme Blog
  2. Coffee and Walnut Bundt Cake from Butcher Baker Blog
  3. Lemon, Strawberry and White Chocolate Bundt Cake from Penne for your thoughts Blog
  4. Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake from New Young Mum Blog
  5. Chocolate Almond Marbles Bundt Cake from BBC Good Food
Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake

VANILLA RASPBERRY BUNDT CAKE


Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake
Baking, Cake
Yield: 10 slicesPin it

Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake

A vanilla raspberry bundt cake recipe using fresh raspberries with a dreamy vanilla drizzle icing.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 15 mins

ingredients:

  • 150g Butter, softened
  • 350g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Eggs
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 1 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 150ml Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Paste – I use this one from New By Mouth
  • 50g Fresh Raspberries
  • For the Icing
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Milk
  • 1/2 TSP Vanilla Paste
  • 2 TBSP Freeze Dried Raspberries for sprinkling - I used this raspberry grit from New By Mouth

instructions

Step 1: Thoroughly butter a 27cm Bundt Tin or use a quick release cake spray and preheat the oven to 160°C/ 140°Fan.

Step 2: In a standing mixer (or by hand) cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs one by one.

Step 3: Fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda before mixing in the vanilla yogurt and vanilla paste.

Step 4: Spoon carefully into the tin and place on a baking tray. Push the fresh raspberries into the cake and make sure they are fully covered by the cake batter. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Step 5: Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate.

Step 6: Mix up the icing ingredients until you have a drizzle consistency (you might need to add a bit more milk) and then drizzle onto the cake before sprinkling over the freeze dried raspberries.



Pin the Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake

Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake
Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake


MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.

Disclosure: I was sent some products from New by Mouth to try, including the vanilla paste and freeze dried raspberries in this recipe. All thoughts are my own.

I'm linking up this recipe to #CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie this month.

Beth Sachs
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